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Smiling vs. Frowning Faces: Community Participation for Sustainable Tourism in Ghanaian Communities

Smiling vs. Frowning Faces: Community Participation for Sustainable Tourism in Ghanaian Communities
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Author(s): Ama Amponsaa Birch Freeman (Takoradi Technical University, Ghana), Ishmael Mensah (University of Cape Coast, Ghana) and Kwabena Barima Antwi (University of Cape Coast, Ghana)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 24
Source title: Prospects and Challenges of Community-Based Tourism and Changing Demographics
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ishmael Mensah (University of Cape Coast, Ghana) and Ewoenam Afenyo-Agbe (University of Cape Coast, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7335-8.ch004

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Abstract

Participatory development has become an integral strategy for achieving sustainable tourism in view of the varying impacts brought by mass tourism. Community participation ensures local control of the pace of tourism development and the creation of a more personalised tourism product. However, some studies have stated tension between governments and locals, which has hindered tourism development. This study, thus, sought to explore the extent to which communities are involved in decision-making and how useful the outcome has been. To achieve the study objectives, two tourism sites in Ghana implemented based on participatory principles, namely Kakum National Park and Afadjato Mountain, were compared. Results of the study suggest there is a fair degree of community involvement at the Gbledi Traditional Area (Afadjato) leading to satisfaction (smiling-faces), rather than Abrafo-Odumase (Kakum), which exhibited dissatisfaction (frowning-faces). The policy and research implications relate mainly to the challenge of achieving sustainable tourism development at the community level.

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